Editor’s note: A Local Tech Wire venture or investment firm profile appears each Monday through Friday. Matthew Burns and Daniel Pearson compiled the list.

COLUMBIA,Despite its proximity to technology hotbeds North Carolina and Georgia, South Carolina has always been somewhat of a backwater for tech start-ups and venture investing. Columbia-based Trelys Venture Partners hopes to change that situation by focusing its investment activity in the Palmetto State, although it also plans to participate in North Carolina and Georgia deals.

Trelys has had an initial closing on its first fund, and by the end of 2002, it hopes to have $40 million under management.

The firm also has already made its first investment, in iOnosphere of Greenville, S.C., which provides telephony and Internet services to key markets in developing countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Trelys plans to invest between $500,000 and $3 million in companies that are generating revenue but need financing to move to the next level. It has assembled a high-powered board that includes a retired CS First Boston executive, the vice chairman of Nasdaq and the chief executive of electronic components manufacturer AVX.

Here’s the skinny:

Featured firm: Trelys

Mailing address:

1901 Assembly Street Suite 390
Columbia SC 29201

Phone number: (803)251-7995

Web site: www.trelys.com

Management Team:

Adrian Wilson, general partner and fund manager
Larry Wilson, managing general partner

Focus of firm: High tech. The company focuses specifically on developing the technology sector in South Carolina and the region.

Size of current fund: $40 million, first fund

How many new deals do you expect to fund in 2002: Undetermined

In what size range: $500,000 to $3 million

Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): Established network of executives throughout South Carolina and the southeast

Most important attributes for companies seeking funding: We normally don’t seek to fund pure research and development. Rather, our goal is to help commercialize products or services that are in the marketplace already producing revenues but not necessarily profits.

What differentiates you: Trelys Venture Partners is supported by an advisory board of highly regarded business leaders who will assist in identifying and growing a portfolio of entrepreneurial investments.

Next: truePilot

Previous profiles can be found by searching Venture Watch category. The series thus far:

Feb. 11: Academy Venture Funds
Feb. 12: Atlantic Group
Feb. 13: Aurora Fund
Feb. 14: Capital Investment Partners
Feb. 15: Carolina Financial Group
Feb. 18: Carousel Capital
Feb. 19: Catalysta Partners
Feb. 20: Charlotte Angel
Feb. 21: Draper Atlantic
Feb. 22: Eno River
Feb. 25: Halifax Group
Feb. 26: Intersouth Partners
Feb. 27: Kitty Hawk Capital
Feb. 28: NC Enterprise Corp.

March 1: NC Technological Development Authority
March 4: Oberlin Capital
March 5: A.M. Pappas
March 6: Piedmont
March 7: RBC Centura
March 8: Redleaf Group
March 11: Remington Capital
March 12: River Cities
March 13: Research Triangle Ventures
March 14: Southeast Interactive
March 15: Tri-State Investment Group